January 14, 2015

Lifestyle: How to Start off the Semester Right.

Good evening, everyone! Tomorrow is the first day of my last spring semester of college (say that 10 times fast), and I thought I would share with you some of the things I like to do in order to start off the semester without feeling overwhelmed. 
I might be a bit late with tips for the beginning of this semester for some of you, but don't worry! These are tips that can be recycled every school year! Think of it as a little checklist of things to do. Here it goes:
1. Arrive on campus early: Although it may be difficult to part with homemade food and days upon days of Netflix, as soon as housing reopens (or at least 3 days before classes start if living off-campus), head on back to school! This will allow you to get used to being on your own again (cooking, doing chores, etc.) as well as give you the opportunity to solve any issues you may have with your school (financial aid, scheduling conflicts, etc) before campus gets crowded again and the lines are too long to deal with.
2. Purchase basic school supplies and groceries: Don't worry about books until you are sure that you'll actually be using them in class, but make sure to have a pencil + eraser, pen, and notebook by the first day of school. I tend to purchase multi-subject notebooks based on my schedule, so I'm not walking around with a handful of notebooks every day (e.g. I bought 3 2-subject notebooks: one for my two online classes, another for my Mo/We, and one more for my Tu/Th). Make sure to have at least a couple of weeks' groceries in case there won't be time to run to the store as soon as you would like to. For non-perishable items (rice, pasta, etc.), take advantage of parents' Costco or Sam's Club memberships and buy enough to get you through the semester.
3. Clean/scrub/rearrange: Do any tedious chores you might be thinking about putting off before your classes actually start. Thinking about dusting/vacuuming/cleaning out the shower? It'll be that much more satisfying to come back from the first day of class and admire the cleanliness you've created. Any type of room rearranging should also happen at this time. It's the perfect "new year, new me" thing to do before starting classes again!

4. Get in touch with old professors (and make plans to meet the new ones): Before heading into the new semester, pull up a list of the professors that know you by name and view you as a strong student. The professors that have given you letters of recommendation or allowed you to use them as a reference are of particular importance. Make sure to shoot them an email wishing them a happy new year, letting them know what you've been up to, and inquiring about their lives. Stop by office hours for the professors that are on campus and ask how they've been! If you have the syllabi yet, make plans on going to new professors' office hours to introduce yourself properly. 
5. Have some materials for jobs/internship hunting: Take some time to look over any resumes, cover letters, portofolios you may have or begin creating these materials if you have not done so yet. They may come in handy for classes that require them, career fairs, or even spontaneous opportunities that might arise. These materials can always be perfected, but having the rough draft can be so satisfying! 
6. IMPORTANT! Verify the requirements for your graduation- check degree audits- make sure you are on the right track and have a tentative plan for the future: This is so important! I can't tell you how many people I know that have gotten- pardon my french- screwed over by the university system. Every beginning of the semester, you should double, triple, and even quadruple check your graduation requirements and make sure you're on the right track. Do not rely on any graphs in your degree audit. Do it all by hand. It is tedious, but it will be worth it when you won't have to stay another semester for some random fine arts credit you didn't know you needed. Also, take some time to reflect on what the next step for you might be after graduation. Start looking at grad schools, or places you'd be interested in moving to post graduation. Of course, this doesn't have to be set in stone- life is pretty fluid- but just make sure you're not completely unprepared. 
I hope I have given you some items to think about while you're starting off this new semester! Let me know of any important tips I have forgotten to mention! Thank you for stopping by, and good luck! 

4 comments:

  1. Thats so important! Def agree with you! Good luck honey!!
    xoxo Colli // my blog - tobeyoutiful

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  2. These are really great tips! I think number one is especially true. You can get used to having meals cooked for you, etc. so it's important to get back into your old routine.

    -Katie
    www.theaisleofstyle.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katie! It really does take a while to get back in the swing of things.

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